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The 5 Things You Really Need to Know in Online Marketing

by Paul J. Scott

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For an already too busy entrepreneur or executive, it can be difficult to master Internet marketing. That’s partly because there are so many new concepts and terms to become familiar with, but also partly because things are constantly changing.

Ideas that were deemed “best practices” in web design, search engine optimization, and social media marketing a few years ago would be behind the times (or worse) today. So to get good at the web doesn’t just mean catching up, but also staying on top of the latest trends.

However, there is another side to this coin: there are a few core ideas that never change. They aren’t just consistent through ongoing Internet marketing campaigns – they are the concepts that have driven business and advertising for decades. With them, you can make the most of the Internet; without them, all the technical knowledge in the world won’t help you.

To give you a closer glimpse at these concepts and why they matter, here are the five things you really need to know when you begin your online marketing efforts:

#1 What Your Goals Are

You can’t hit a target you don’t see. And so, it’s crucial that you know what you’re trying to make happen online. Are you trying to win new customers? If so, how many, and by when? Internet marketing is like anything else in that it’s easier to get where you’re going if you use specific, measurable goals as your guide.

#2 Whom You’re Trying to Reach

Every business has a group of core customers who represent the biggest fans and the most important accounts. You should know exactly who those people are, not just in name, but in terms of their demographics, ongoing needs, and buying criteria. Before you begin any campaign, you should know exactly whom you’re trying to reach and why.

#3 Which Resources You Can Devote to Online Marketing

If you are undergoing a new web design or online marketing campaign and don’t have any time or money constraints, then you’re the first person in history to be in that position. Because the resources you devote to your website are precious, you should decide early on what you can and can’t spend in pursuit of your goals.

#4 How You Plan to Stand Out

The Internet is big, and getting bigger every day. That feels especially true in certain industries, which have become so crowded that it’s hard to stand out. Most companies differentiate themselves through unique messaging and customized design. What can you do to help customers tell you apart from the competition?

#5 What the Relevant Metrics Are

How will you measure the ongoing success of your campaigns? Some of this comes back to your original goals, but you also need to know which milestones (like page visits, subscribers, and so on) are going to show you whether you’re on the right path or not.

With these five pieces of information, you can help your company to grow and meet its bottom-line targets by using smart, web-specific strategies. Without them, no amount of design, coding, or promotion will help you make an impact with buyers.

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